Psychological issues

English

Understanding the human side of diabetes

The findings of the recently-conducted DAWN study (Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs) tell us that people with diabetes who are cut off from a community of support not only manage their condition ineffectively, but also feel worse within themselves. Networks of supportive family, colleagues or friends appear to be at least as important as medication in relation to the ability of a person with diabetes to manage their condition.

The impact of diabetes on family life

Children need a healthy mother, not one with incapacitating complications, an unstable character due to the highs and lows of blood glucose levels, or who might endanger them by losing control while having a severe hypoglycaemic reaction. Children need a full-time caregiver. A responsible woman educated to take command of her diabetes can fulfil this role just as well as a woman without diabetes; sometimes even better.

In the mood: sex and the woman with diabetes

We, women with diabetes have known it for as long as we have been women with diabetes: our problems associated with sexual function are a result of our moods, our sense of self, our body image, our psychological state, as well as our degree of control over our lives and our diabetes. At last the scientific literature has caught up with us.

Eating disorders and other vulnerabilities: a passing phase?

The metabolic control of diabetes tends to deteriorate during the adolescent years, and this deterioration is more pronounced in teenage girls than boys. Efforts to achieve and maintain excellent blood glucose control are more difficult and less successful in adolescents than in adults. This suggests that the teenage years are a highly vulnerable period for girls with Type 1 diabetes, a time when the risk for the later development of diabetes-related complications may become accelerated.

Girl power

Any girl will be able to tell you that life as a teenager comes with its own challenges. Mix these challenges with diabetes and you have a cocktail of perplexing bewilderment and confusion at times! These three testimonies from South Africa show that diabetes in the teenage years can be scary, but ultimately can make you a stronger person.

Diabetes, fear, and self-loathing: one person's story

When he left home to attend his regular diabetes clinic, Ray Msengana was already feeling unwell. But when he was told that the treatment of his Type 2 diabetes was to change from tablets to insulin therapy, he rapidly felt a lot worse. In this candid account of life with diabetes, Ray Msengana describes the affective impact of the condition, and makes a call for changes in the way diabetes is managed.

A world-wide call to action

The scale of the problem that diabetes poses to world health is still widely under-recognized. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that if current trends continue, the number of people with diabetes will almost double; from 194 million people in 2003 to 333 million by the year 2025. Diabetes is already the most costly health-care problem in the westernized and 'westernizing' countries.

It is all about the people

Editor-in-Chief's editorial

The people at the centre of care

President's editorial

Listen to a voice

Listen to the voice of a young girl Lonnie, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 16. Imagine that she is deeply involved in the social security system. She lives with her mother and two siblings in a working class part of a small town. She is at a special school for problematic youth, and her carers are seriously concerned about how she is going to manager her diabetes.

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